Chairman Mike Turner (OH-10) of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Tactical Air and Land Forces wrote today to Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt and the White House calling for an immediate public release of a water contamination study conducted by the Department of Health and Human Services’s Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.
“This is not an issue of public relations--this is an issue of public health and safety,” said Chairman Turner. “I recently called together leaders from our community and tasked the Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission with providing an assessment of the threat to our drinking water. This report needs to be released so the Commission can have the correct information when providing our community its recommendations.”
The study, according to Politico’s reporting, identifies a new and significantly lower safe rate of chemicals in drinking water than the EPA has been adhering to. Previously, Military Times reported at least 126 military installations, including Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, found the chemicals at the subject of this study in their communities’ drinking water. Congress has already taken action to stop the Department of Defense from using these chemicals in the future.
The full text of Chairman Turner’s letter to Administrator Pruitt is below:
“The Health and Human Services report concerning PFOA and PFOS contamination of drinking water must be publicly released without delay. Publishing the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry Study is vital to informing Americans as to the dangers of exposure to these toxins.
My community of Dayton, Ohio is anchored by Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. Beyond being the largest Air Force Base in the world, Wright-Patt in on the leading edge of keeping America safe. Our air base, like many other military installations around the nation, has recently dealt with the detection of PFOA and PFOS in groundwater, which may be threatening our municipal water supply.
To date, my community’s leaders have rallied with Wright-Patt on this issue. PFOA and PFOS were first discovered in our water in December 2015. We have acted according to the EPA’s 2016 lifetime health advisory of 70 part per trillion of PFOS and PFOA in groundwater.
If this study finds, as reported, that this is no longer an accurate level of safety for our drinking water, Congress and our constituents need to know immediately so we can begin to address it. Congress has already acted to end the use of these chemicals on military bases, but at least 126 military installations have reported having PFOS and PFOA in their drinking water. This is a matter of public health and safety for each of these communities.
I trust you appreciate the urgency of my request and look forward to working with the Administration on this issue in the future.”